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Save Internet Radio


justsomeguy
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If anyone lives in the US and listens to music online, or even if you don't listen to music online, it's time to get on the phone and call your Congresscritter. Effective July 15, if changes are not made then internet radio is going to effectively go off the air. A recent federal ruling increased the royalties that internet radios must pay to drastic levels, and the changes are retroactive to Jan 1, 2006. This means that existing internet radio stations will go bankrupt on July 15. This also affects services like Pandora.So, anyone living in the US needs to visit this site, enter your zipcode, and call your representatives to ask them to co-sponsor the Internet Radio Equality Act. It's not just something to talk about, on July 15th if we don't act internet radio will go dark.http://www.savenetradio.org/Enter your zipcode here:http://www3.capwiz.com/saveinternetradio/alert_9738601.htmlThe zip code form didn't work for me in Opera.

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I realize that people rip off music alot but I have no sympathy for bands making millions and then turn around and try to get more. This is sad that record companies will got his far just to put some more cash in their pockets.Maybe hte next protest should be everyone just stop buying music altogether and just download pirated copies.

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Apple finally got a clue and quit the DRM on (some of) their downloads.I find this whole process funny. Back whenever CDs came out, late 80s maybe, from then until about 5 years ago everything was fine. People were buying music, listening, playing the CD on whatever they want, letting friends borrow the CD (I've got several of my friends' CDs), copying to a tape, making mixes, whatever. Music profits through the roof. Everything was fine. Then people got computers and all of a sudden the RIAA thinks they need to clamp down on everyone's rights. Not only are they outright limiting what people are allowed to do with their purchased goods, but they are trying to blow smoke up everyone's ###### to spin it into thinking they are adding value. I've heard quotes from record company execs who said basically "DRM is there to help the consumer manage their rights". Now call me crazy, but I don't think consumers have *ever* had problems managing their rights to their purchased music. They could have just said "it's to help us mitigate loss", but they try and spin it into something that is actually beneficial to users. The fact that record company executives assume that their customers are morons made it a really easy decision for me to not buy mainstream music that would go back to the RIAA. That was a very easy decision to make.So, we started with DRM-free CDs. All of a sudden everyone clamped down tight, to the point where some discs only let you play them in a single CD player (whichever you put it into first), over time they started backing off DRM when they figured out 1) it hurts sales 2) it is harmful to computers 3) people hate it. Now, when they are AGAIN releasing DRM-free music (just like we had in the 80s), they are AGAIN trying to spin it into something where they are being all beneficial to us, and giving us all these rights that we've always had. The whole thing stinks, they think we are morons, and I refuse to pay them anything. I'll buy my music from allofmp3.com, I'll buy directly from the bands, and I'll buy from used record stores, but I will go to lengths to make sure that my money does not go to the RIAA, specifically because they are treating me like I'm a moron.When we have people running record companies who actually pride themselves on the fact that they are running a record company with zero knowledge of anything musical, we have a problem. Record companies were founded by people who loved music, today they are run by people who love money and know less about musical talent then they do about rootkitting a Windows machine to stop it from playing their disc. The recording industry is the perfect example of everything that is wrong with capitalism (and I love capitalism).This is our chance to say no to them. I know you're in Canada (Canada should have a representative in Congress), but anyone with a voice needs to stand up and use it to tell the RIAA to go F themselves, just like they've been doing to us.Sorry about any language, but things like this inspire blind rage in me. People running major corporations who exhibit outright contempt to their customers and use their money to limit people's rights need to be hanged in public, and I'm not just saying that. The only reason that the people who run the RIAA are alive today is because it is illegal to kill them. Email spammers and virus writers fall into the same category of people.

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That is some rather nice fervent ardency you've got there, and I couldn't agree more with you. I read about this somewhere a long whiles ago in the Chicago Tribune, I'd thought by now they'd have seen the error in this by now. Apparently not. I don't listen to music that much by major bands, because most of the good stuff never gets a label, much less a personal website, but still, the utter abhorrence of this is that the RIAA was a major pushing force in the new royalty rates. I never listened to much internet radio before, but now I might never be able to listen to it, at least not for free. The ones that survive may be the paid subscription ones, only because they're bound to be more manageable.Though at least for some solace, DRM and basically every tactic employed by content protectors are self defeating methods, as they either 1) increase piracy 2) are easily avoided or worked around, or 3) just so stupid they don't work.Remember though, whatever they take away, there's always a way to steal it back, tenfold. People will probably setup "underground" radio stations, or maybe we'll just go to freer music. Though, it shouldn't have to come to that. I'll be writing my representative soon. Thanks for bringing this up, it's something we all should fight.

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Though at least for some solace, DRM and basically every tactic employed by content protectors are self defeating methods, as they either 1) increase piracy 2) are easily avoided or worked around, or 3) just so stupid they don't work.
Ironically enough, back when I was still buying CDs that had DRM on them, if I wanted to copy that music to my ipod or another computer my only solution was to download a DRM-free copy illegally. So now I am being forced to engage in illegal activity just to be able to use my music in a legal way (the Betamax decision established the laws for fair use, and this is one of them). Hopefully they notice that we have gone from DRM-free CDs to DRM-free CDs, only by spending several tens or hundreds of millions in between to try and implement DRM. So now they increase royalties to cover their losses from developing a failed DRM strategy. Maybe instead they should try and focus on developing a business model that does not assume a 1950s level of technology.
People will probably setup "underground" radio stations, or maybe we'll just go to freer music.
Thankfully, the legality of cartels like the RIAA does not extend across our borders, and other countries are free to set up whatever they want. The music I purchase online I do so from Russian websites, and part of the appeal is that I know for a fact that fees do not go to the RIAA to fund their extortion and intimidation campaign against the public.
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I figured I would post the statement on the Pandora website, since it will probably only be online today. And, if you have never used Pandora, visit it after today at pandora.com and check it out, it's an awesome, free service to help you find more music you will like. Hopefully it will be around for more then the next 3 weeks.

Hi, it's Tim from Pandora,I'm sorry to say that today Pandora, along with most Internet radio sites, is going off the air in observance of a Day Of Silence. We are doing this to bring to your attention a disastrous turn of events that threatens the existence of Pandora and all of internet radio. We need your help.Ignoring all rationality and responding only to the lobbying of the RIAA, an arbitration committee in Washington DC has drastically increased the licensing fees Internet radio sites must pay to stream songs. Pandora's fees will triple, and are retroactive for eighteen months! Left unchanged by Congress, every day will be like today as internet radio sites start shutting down and the music dies.A bill called the "Internet Radio Equality Act" has already been introduced in both the Senate (S. 1353) and House of Representatives (H.R. 2060) to fix the problem and save Internet radio--and Pandora--from obliteration.I'd like to ask you to call your Congressional representatives today and ask them to become co-sponsors of the bill. It will only take a few minutes and you can find your Congresspersons and their phone numbers by entering your zip code here.Your opinion matters to your representatives - so please take just a minute to call.Visit www.savenetradio.org to continue following the fight to Save Internet Radio.As always, and now more than ever, thank you for your support. -Tim Westergren(Pandora founder)
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I think this sort of thing has already come into force in the uk i think. Most stations only let you listen if you listen locally. You have to type your post code if it cant find it from your ip, then once they are happy you are listening locally they unban your ip address, something like that.

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Pandora recently had to shut off access to non-US users because of a similar legal matter, for several years it was open to everyone. It just doesn't make a lot of sense to me to ban certain people from accessing a commodity like music just because of an arbitrary geographic location. I wonder how the bands feel that people can't listen to their music in other countries just because some suit somewhere thinks he deserves more money.

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This is from one of the local radio stages in London

If you live abroad you might have noticed a bit of a change with our player. This has happened because of a change in the way we are allowed by the music industry to stream on the Internet.Capital 95.8 has to have a licence to play music from a body called PPL (Phonographic Performance Ltd – www.ppluk.com) which acts on behalf of the record companies to collect royalties.In recent years as internet streaming has become more widespread, the PPL have decided to clarify that the royalty payments that we make only cover our use of music as simulcasts of our radio stations and within the UK.To comply with the new licence terms we have to demonstrate that our listening is only being heard in the UK.As a result we have had to make a slight modification to our player.# For the majority of listeners, the change will be invisible, as we will able to automatically verify that the network you're connected to is in the UK, and show you the player as normal.# Some people are in the UK but their internet connection appears to be connected to networks outside the UK. If you appears to be outside the UK, we will ask you to provide a valid UK postcode. We won't be storing any personal information, but a cookie will allow you to be connected to the player automatically for the next 90 days. You will need to re-validate every 90 days to carry on listening to Capital Radio online.# If you don't live in the UK, and are unable to provide a valid postcode (eg WC2H 7LA) you will be unable to connect to the player.
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That just said that if your ip appears to be outside the uk you can just enter a valid uk postcode then you can listen. Then why doesn't everyone just enter a postcode then? Or do they? If that is enough to satisfy the license (blindly assumes the user is being honest obout the postal code) then what a waste of time and money to implement something like that.

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I think it's just unfair to raise the royalties just for internet radio. To start with, it only applies to stations hosted in America, even if most listeners live in Europe. Secondly, lesser known or new artists get airtime because of Internet Radio, increasing their CD-sales and income from live performances (which is the number one source of income for artists).It may have been said before, but the music industry is only doing this to get more cash for their cattle. The result will be heavier usage of P2P software and pirated music. The greedy music industries must stop efforts to discourage legal broadcast of music.This being said, shutting off abroad listeners just so they can force their rules upon local stations is retarded. As an alternative the music industry will have to collect rates from the Internet Service Provider, based on streaming or illegal downloading of copyright protected material, or else disable certain services for said provider or client (works very well for business environements ; ). The same already applies to recordable media such as CD-R and DVD-R, and perhaps soon to MP3 players and flash drives. (they foolishly left DVD+R out of scope, claiming that media will never become popular. As a result it became all the more popular.)

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If that is enough to satisfy the license (blindly assumes the user is being honest obout the postal code) then what a waste of time and money to implement something like that.
Yeah, the rules that the RIAA comes up with are marked with a certain amount of genius. That's why so many people on Pandora are listening from the 90210 zip code. I'm sure they're all from California, too.
I think it's just unfair to raise the royalties just for internet radio.
It's very unfair. The new rates for internet radio are substantially higher then the rates for satellite and other digital radio. Internet broadcasters just want to be treated equal to the other broadcasters. The RIAA feels very threatened that anyone with a server and the willpower can start up an internet radio station, that kind of freedom is just too much for the RIAA to bear. I read a story where one guy ran a small station as a hobby where he had two channels, I think a punk channel and a classic rock channel. He was trying to add a third channel when the vote went through, and he calculated his estimated costs at $600/month for only 50 listeners. Obviously this royalty increase is designed to kill all of the small independent stations and help reinforce the RIAA's chokehold on music.In terms of numbers, the royalty for internet stations will start at $0.0011 per song per person, and by 2010 it will be up to $0.0019 per song per person. So, if you play 1 song to 100 people, then you owe $0.11. If 100 people listen per day and each of them listen to 20 songs per day for a month, then that month you would owe the RIAA $66. For a station with 10,000 listeners per day, the same 20 songs per person would cost $6,600.
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This - http://www.computerworld.com/action/articl...rc=news_ts_head - is the latest I've heard about how this is all going down as a matter of legal process. It is dejecting to know that this will hurt even some of the most popular musicians, it touches both ends of the scale actually. They'll still be missing out on exposure just like the little people.What's inane is the claim that without these musicians, there would be no music for the internet business. That's a half truth if you look on the side that the relationship that both the broadcasters and the people who make the music share a mutual bond. Harming one harms the other. Just because the effects upon one will be greater, because musicians have survived prior to internet radio and they can find elsewhere to get money whereas internet radio has slim options, doesn't mean you should discount the fact that the damage exists. Though I am a programmer, I'm primarily a creative writer, so I can relate in the sense of art. But anyone involved in literature, pictures, or music should know that there is something beyond money. It is the essential drive to create that spawns this, and if you feel this need, then you'll probably feel the need as well to make sure it spreads well and far. If you get paid for it, it should be either accidental, and afterthought, or just some good fortune. Directly pursuing to make money is business not a form art, not by any concept. If this goes through, the CPB measures and stuff, I'll probably create some stuff and post it online for free. I know it won't help, but it'll make me feel better knowing who's the real creator and who's greedy.Lastly, if this does get down the legal process without anything so much as a compromise, I can see a movement of piracy coming. It's not like over half the internet's users weren't/still are pirates anyway. It seems like the most likely retaliatory effect.

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It is dejecting to know that this will hurt even some of the most popular musicians, it touches both ends of the scale actually. They'll still be missing out on exposure just like the little people.
That's right, it hurts all musicians. What does the RIAA say is the reason why they need the rate hike? Because the musicians deserve to be paid. I would like to hear the RIAA lawyers explain how shutting down broadcasters helps the musicians get paid.
What's inane is the claim that without these musicians, there would be no music for the internet business.
That's rediculous. First of all, anyone going into the music business or art in general knows from the minute they make their decision that there is very little money in it. A ton of people try their hand, a fraction of them make a living off of it. The fact that there is very little money in music is not because of the internet, that is the way it has always been, ever since the days of the Sun recording studio. If the RIAA is so concerned that artists are not getting enough money, then they need to adjust their contractual obligations, not shut down broadcasters. Maybe it's not such a good deal when a band who makes an album gets less then half of the proceeds from that album.Even so, there are a ton of independent musicians who are going to be making music regardless of whether or not anyone is paying them, they do it because it's what they like to do. They write their own music, produce it, edit it, publish it, and ship their own CDs without getting any money and enjoy what they do. I was one of those guys in college. They make more money from concert sales then they do from album sales, and Clear Channel is trying to shut down that revenue stream for bands also but that's another issue. But the fact is that the RIAA's argument is baseless - there will always be musicians and artists making art for the sake of it, and there will always be parasites trying to make money off those people's creativity and effort.The RIAA says that without "professional" musicians, there would be no music. The truth is that music will always be here, without professional musicians there would be no RIAA.
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That's right, it hurts all musicians. What does the RIAA say is the reason why they need the rate hike? Because the musicians deserve to be paid. I would like to hear the RIAA lawyers explain how shutting down broadcasters helps the musicians get paid.
Right on the mark! Music will find a way, just look at Weird All and MC Chris who promote and sell their own music on their website. They have live performances, they might not make the big bucks but are known and available all over the world.Now let's translate that to mainstream. Using your website as your main platform might work for niche artists, but not so much for mainstream stuff. There's a website that gives new bands the opportunity to get themselves known, fans can donate ten Euro to help pay for studio time. Once a band has a thousand supporters (10.000 Euro) they can buy studio time, supporters get a free album AND a share in the CD-sales. I think it's fair for everyone.That is, if netradio would have to shut down. I don't think they should. ever. give in. to the industries. Net radio is for the musician and the listener. But net radio apparantly was doomed when the first musician sold his talent to the highest bidder.Then again, if independent music would pay off, there might be no record stores.
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It looks like consumers are starting to fight back against the RIAA. I read a story previously about a defendent in Florida who was counter-filing a suit against the RIAA accusing them of extortion, computer and wire fraud, and deceptive and unfair trade practices. Over the weekend this story was posted to Slashdot:

"The RIAA is opposing Ms. Lindor's request for discovery into the agreements among the record company competitors by which they have agreed to settle and prosecute their cases together, by which she seeks to support her Fourth Affirmative Defense (pdf) alleging that 'The plaintiffs, who are competitors, are a cartel acting collusively in violation of the antitrust laws and of public policy, by tying their copyrights to each other, collusively litigating and settling all cases together, and by entering into an unlawful agreement among themselves to prosecute and to dispose of all cases in accordance with a uniform agreement, and through common lawyers, thus overreaching the bounds and scope of whatever copyrights they might have. ...As such, they are guilty of misuse of their copyrights.'"
Other then seeing Sony being forced to file for bankruptcy, seeing the RIAA get sued into the ground for their litigious behavior would certainly make my day, year even.
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Here - http://www.computerworld.com/action/articl...;intsrc=hm_list - is the latest news so far that I've heard of. I'm watching all this very closely, ever since this topic was raised. Though, don't be misinformed, the compromise in the article is only for the large webcasters, the little ones still seem to miss out. That's the problem when you deal with industries, the little ones are the ones instanced to the harsher circumstances.I'm really thinking about how a lot of people might just start making their own "underground" internet radio stations. I found this intriguing audio library that does nearly everything with audio files, including streaming. With some C++, it'd be possible to create a console application that would act as a streaming server, and who's to say it all couldn't be encrypted so only those who are "in the know" check it out. Just talking possibilities, not actualities. :)

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That's the problem when you deal with industries, the little ones are the ones instanced to the harsher circumstances.
Yeah, sort of like how the military stops all small contracts for 6 months to audit and review everything, and then Halliburton gets no-bid multibillion-dollar contracts. I'm pretty sure they could save more money by auditing those contracts, but they pick on the little guys and kill their business. You think the military would tell McDonnel Douglas to stop producing Apaches for 6 months while they review contracts? Of course not. The Bush administration has treated small businesses pretty poorly, and I'm not saying that the RIAA matter is connected to the Bush administration but it's definately easier to "convince" the copyright board to push this through when there's not a lot of support for small business in the first place. The small voices don't get heard when the big ones talk with money, and the RIAA is trying to get as much as they can to make their voice louder.
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